Today’s Reading: Isaiah 60:1-62:5 (additional reading: Psalm 72:1-20 and Proverbs 24:11-12)
In our scripture reading today from Isaiah chapter 61, the text is about the liberation of Israel from the years of captivity in Babylon. God speaks to them through the prophet Isaiah and assured them about the coming redemption and restoration which will result in the rejoicing of His people. More than that, the promise talks also about the time of the coming of Messiah who is our saviour Jesus Christ which will usher us to the year of grace, the year of renewal and year of celebration because of God’s favour for all.
Isaiah 61:1”To proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners” – Only the free have the ability to release captives! Many live in bondage to fear, anger and selfish desires.
In God’s Smuggler, Brother Andrew tells in the first couple of chapters the story of his early life. One section of which dealt with his hell-for-leather days in the Dutch army in Indonesia. While serving in that area, fighting against President Sukarno in the late 1940s he bought a young monkey, a gibbon, which took to him, and Andrew treated him as a pet in the barracks. He hadn’t had the gibbon for many weeks before he noticed that when he touched it in some areas around the waist it seemed to hurt him. So he examined the gibbon more closely and found a raised welt that went around his waist. He carefully laid the animal down on his bed and pulled back the matted hair from this welt until he could see what was causing the problem.
He discovered that evidently when the gibbon had been a baby someone had tied a piece of wire around his middle and had never taken it off, as the monkey grew larger the wire became embedded in his flesh. Obviously, it must have caused him a great deal of discomfort. So that evening Andrew began the operation, taking his razor and shaving off all the monkey’s hair in a three-inch-wide swath around his middle. While the other boys in the barracks looked on, he cut ever so gently into the tender flesh until he exposed the wire. The gibbon lay there with the most amazing patience. Even when he obviously was hurting him the gibbon looked up with eyes that seemed to say, “I understand,” until at long last he was able to get down to the wire, cut it, and pull it away. Instantly, as soon as the operation was over, the gibbon jumped up, did a cartwheel, danced around his shoulders, and pulled brother Andrews hair in joyful glee to the delight of all the boys in the barracks. He wrote “After that, my gibbon and I were inseparable. I think I identified with him as strongly as he with me. I think I saw in the wire that had bound him a kind of parallel to the chain of sin and guilt still so tight around myself-and in his release, the thing I too longed for.”
If you’re craving this freedom, listen to the proclamation in today’s reading. Your freedom was bought by Jesus on your behalf.
Are you experiencing the freedom that Jesus has won for you?
Father, Thank You that You have made us free, free indeed. Help us to leave the way of bondage behind us and to live as Your children. In Jesus’ name, Amen